The President of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Biljana Ivanovska, at a two-hour discussion with participants at CIVIL’s seminar “Transparency and responsibility in the political processes” replied to questions on topics related to the work of the State Commission for Prevention of Corruption. One of the questions was also on the initiative “End Profligacy”, which CIVIL initiated in the public in the month of May, and which concerns the privileges of MPs and officials.
“Privileges are a kind of political corruption”, considers Ivanovska.
“We are a country in which the greatest percentage of the population is a member of a political party. We are a country where if you’re not in a party you won’t be able to get employed. And that philosophy has to end”, she says.
Ivanovska spoke about the requests for reports, which the SCPC has sent to all the institutions for the use of official vehicles, travel costs, appanages, representation costs.
“They are almost finished, and they are submitting them to us. They just need to say on what legal base they are using them and whether they have any rulebooks. We had horrible reactions about this. Our goal is to first show the Government how much of the budget goes on privileges, because that too is a kind of political corruption”, says Ivanovska, adding that it concerns serious amounts of money with which the infrastructure in the country can significantly be improved, whereas the MPs can use public transportation, since the country will then have good public transportation.
As to a question about public enterprises that are paying lump sums for lawyers, Ivanovska says that the SCPC is collecting data and that after the summer holidays it will officially open a case on this matter.
“We have a very important competency – anti-corruption verification of laws. For example, discretionary right. There is a methodology on how to determine such loopholes in the law, but we only have one person in that department. We need to further staff ourselves. Nonetheless, we have the competency to propose changes in the legal regulations”, says Ivanovska.
Regarding the need of a government team for fighting crime, Ivanovska thinks that it has the purpose of showing that the Government does take care.
A question in regards to the financing of the NGO sector and the possibility of manipulations was also raised during the two-hour discussion.
“Twelve years ago, the European Court of Auditors held a session on NGOs, as it had been determined that quite a lot of money can be laundered through them. When I was interviewed for the SCPC, I was asked about the financing of the NGOs. My position is as follows: first of all, a good registry should be made on who deals with what and what their source of financing is. I don’t worry much about the foreign money. But what is worrying here is that they are allowed to knock on multiple doors with a same project. In all the institutions, there are items according to which funds are given to NGOs. Funds can be obtained from multiple places with a same project”, says Ivanovska.
in cooperation with Igor К. Ilievski
camera: Atanas Petrovski
editing and photography: Biljana Jordanovska
This post is also available in: Macedonian